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Guts is the main protagonist of the anime and manga series Berserk. In the series, Guts is a Mercenary who travels from company to company so he is always fighting. After meeting Griffith, Guts is defeated in battle by Griffith and is forced to join the band of the Hawk. As the main character of the series, Guts has appeared in every Berserk video game.

Profile

Considered by many as the pure personification of strength and will, Guts is a Byronic hero who is born as one who may be able to struggle against causality but who is unable to maintain it indefinitely. The first story arc of the series revolves around his childhood and adolescence in a mercenary band after being adopted by the band's leader Gambino, and his later joining of, and departure from, the Band of the Hawk.

The dynamic and turbulent relationship between Guts and Griffith, the leader of the Band of the Hawk, forms the primary focus of the manga for the first thirteen volumes. After the events of the Eclipse, during which he loses his left forearm and right eye, Guts seeks revenge on Griffith, who is now Femto. In the process, he is reunited with Casca after a separation of two years.

Following the Incarnation Ceremony at Albion, Guts travels with a new group of companions.

Guts hated Griffith for using him and the Band of the Hawk for his own selfish purposes and discarding them like garbage.

Appearance

Guts can be seen as the exact opposite of Griffith in just about every way. Guts is a tall, muscular warrior with short black hair, a body full of scars and wields a monstrous weapon. Griffith is of average height, thin, has long white hair, no scars and wields an elegant sabre. Guts wears tattered black clothing and, though incredibly skilled, fights like a barbarian; winning by any means necessary. Griffith wears white armor and has a much more refined style resembling fencing. In addition they usually have the exact opposite effect on everyone they meet. Most people are naturally drawn to Griffith upon first meeting him and would die for him without hesitation. Guts however is usually feared and detested by just about everyone he comes across, however as of Fantasia Arc Guts has gained fame and people stared to admire him and most females that Guts came across felt attracted to him. This extends to their morals and intentions as well. Guts usually refrains from involving others in his plights whereas Griffith rarely dirties his own hands. Griffith freely manipulates others, caring only for his ultimate goal, while Guts (though he would never admit it) values the lives of others and strives to protect them.

Guts is depicted as a tall, muscular man, standing at 6'8" (204 cm) with short, spiked, black hair in a crew cut. He is missing his left forearm and right eye due to an encounter with the God Hand and is covered head-to-toe in scars, with the most notable being a lacerated scar on his nose. Also notable is a large, horizontal scar on his chest which he received during his encounter with Slan in Qliphoth. After receiving the Berserker Armor, Guts receives a small fringe of white on his hair, presumably due to the stress brought on from wielding the armor. Guts' tendency to wear black clothing while hunting the Apostles gained him the nickname 'The Black Swordsman.' Aside of all this, Guts has a brand on the back right side of his neck that attracts demons and evil spirits to him at night, as a result of the Eclipse.

Guts' original design, featured in the Berserk Prototype, had him wearing an eye patch.

Personality

I'm used to fighting to survive. But what grows worse daily is the pressure not to die. Have I ever before wielded a sword so heavy?
~ Guts
Known for his air of austerity, Guts is a gruff, cynical man holding an overall bleak outlook on life. This is a consequence of having endured waves of suffering and numerous betrayals since his youth, with nearly all highlights of his life having, in time, become lows. In spite of his guarded, brooding exterior, he shows a more easygoing, compassionate side around the people he trusts, appearing markedly less unsociable and distant, though still retaining his dry candidness. Even as his inner darkness festers deep within him and its temptation becomes increasingly harder to resist, he retains his empathy and compassion, refusing to completely discard his humanity.

In his formative years, Guts was devoid of true purpose in life, killing as a child mercenary merely as a means to survive. As a blank slate, he often found himself seeking validation from those he respected most, content so long as "one person had looked [his] way". His precariousness slowly develops into individuality upon meeting Griffith, however, someone whom he eventually seeks to stand beside as an equal, rather than be looked down on by. The swordsman then embarks on a journey of self-discovery, in which he comes to acknowledge his lifelong bond with and passion for the sword. Upon realizing this, he begins devoting himself to honing his craft and fighting ever stronger adversaries – having a newfound purpose in life through this.

Surviving the Eclipse, however, devastates Guts. He grows vindictive, wanting nothing other than to hunt down and slaughter any apostle he encounters and, more importantly, exact revenge on Griffith and the God Hand; he even leaves behind a regressed Casca for two years to embark on his warpath against demonkind. On his two-year hunt, Guts becomes largely self-centered and anti-social, indifferent to the suffering of others and detesting those he deems weak. His reclusive nature and hostility towards those attempting to connect with him stem from a fear of creating new emotional attachments; fear of making precious new companions akin to the Falcons he lost to the Eclipse. However, due in large part to the efforts of Puck, Guts eventually ceases his solitary struggle and begins soliciting the help of fellow travelers, slowly fostering new companionship with them. Despite his initial apprehension towards displaying affection for his new party members, he comes to appreciate the bonds he makes with them and finds himself grateful for having their individual strengths to rely on.

Above all else, Guts is the personification of persistence and resilience. Through all of his numerous trials and tribulations, he has never yielded to fate and continues to subsist against seemingly insurmountable odds. Indeed, Guts is an ardent detractor of ideas such as causality and destiny, believing his decisions to ultimately be of his own volition and bearing no regard for such certainties. It is this disposition which spurs him onward – in part to prove the folly of such rigid dogma – and allows him to escape death many times over the course of his life.

Powers and Abilities

Because he is just a normal human, the strength to carry, much less to use and wield a sword of such magnitude with finesse and dexterity makes Guts a grandmaster swordsman of no ordinary level and skill, which shows up in every battle or duels that he partakes, especially when he is engaged with demonic beings. He is also skillful at using many bladed weapons, has knowledge on how the mechanism of complicated firearms work and is also an excellent equestrian. Despite his large frame he is very fast, dexterous and agile for a human of his size and stature which can be seen when he is engaged in combat with multiple enemies.

Guts' ferocity, fury, aggressiveness, and strength do much to conceal the cunning person within him. He is very perceptive, quick witted, clever, and a skilled strategist, all of it goes hand in hand with his strength. These are major reasons of why he had survived the countless encounters that he so far had faced. A good example of his tactical prowess is his fight with the apostle Rosine. During the fight Guts was severely outnumbered by Rosine's demon elves but managed to kill them by lighting himself on fire when they got too close then quickly dousing himself by slicing open the cocoons that were in the process of turning more children into elves. Though not much of a talker, Guts is also shown to possess astute logical reasoning which can be seen in some of his conversations within the manga.

As a youth, Guts lived in a mercenary camp where he was forced to learn to use full sized weapons. This and his natural physical size and strength enabled him to wield larger weapons than most. Throughout the Golden Age arc, he primarily uses a variety of large swords, along with various other weapons when necessary.

In the (chronologically) later arcs, Guts wields the Dragonslayer, a zweihander or two-handed sword about 7' long and 12" wide at its base. It is more than an inch thick at the middle of the blade, giving it incredible weight and power. Described in the manga as more of a table-sized slab of iron than a blade, the Dragonslayer's massive size makes it the ideal weapon for slaying apostles of the God Hand. After killing many apostles, the sword retains properties of the apostles' blood, making it more effective against them. In addition to his blade, Guts' left forearm is prosthetic with a magnet to help grip weapons, a replacement for the one he lost when Griffith attempted to sacrifice him to the denizens of hell; it folds back to expose a hidden cannon within. Guts also carries throwing knives, miniature bombs, a dagger, and even a repeating crossbow that can be mounted onto his prosthetic arm. While not innately magical, Guts' sword, the Dragonslayer, was recently shown to have become a cursed blade after absorbing the evil within so many apostles slayed by him; enabling it to kill creatures of a non-corporeal nature and even possibly kill, or at least, seriously injure members of the God Hand.

One of Guts' most powerful assets is the Berserker Armor, an ancient, cursed suit of armor that allows the wearer to overcome his physical and mental limitations in combat but at the cost of damaging his already-weakened body and allowing his inner Beast, in Guts' case a feral dog-like creature, to take over and endanger everyone in the vicinity, friend or foe (hence, berserk). The Armor has deadly effects on its user. After using the armor once, Guts lost some of his sense of taste, became slightly colorblind, and the stress of using it caused a patch of his hair to turn white, among other things. The armor can pierce his flesh from within (similar to an Iron Maiden) to reinforce broken bones, enabling him to continue fighting long after his body is broken to the point of exsanguiantion.

Guts has incredible strength and physical resistance, even though he is a regular man with no powers. Due to his extensive training since a very young age, his strength and endurance could be classified as superhuman. He is able to swing the 7' long Dragonslayer with incredible speed, even with just one hand. He has also survived impacts that would kill a regular man, even with the protection of armor. This might be due to The Brand, which, according to the Skull Knight, places Guts a half step outside of reality, where it is easier for will to affect reality.

He also has an incredible resistance to pain as shown when he cuts off his own arm trying to stop Griffith from raping Casca.

He is able to come up with strategies very quickly and thanks to his experience in battle he can realize very quickly the best way to fight, like when he used a sword with his feet to impale Zodd. Despite all of this, Guts' resistance to damage is not far away from a normal human's. He can be affected and hurt badly with normal weapons.

Voices

Japanese
Nobutoshi Canna (Berserk 1997, Sword of Berserk, PS2)
Hiroaki Iwanaga (Berserk movie trilogies, Berserk 2016/2017, Berserk Musou)
English
Marc Diraison (Berserk 1997, Berserk movie trilogies)
Michael Bell (Sword of Berserk)
Kaiji Tang (Berserk 2016/2017)

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